Stressless Christmas 2011 – Deck The Halls For Less!

Turquoise vase Christmas assembly by Mathew Mead

This week, we look at getting the most holiday ambiance for less using the power of imagination. Christmas can be such a stressful time…its the season that we feel pressure to give something that conveys adequately and meaningfully our recognition of family, friends, or loved ones who have been there for us throughout the year, and whose presence will continue to enrich our lives beyond 2011. So, a Christmas Tree? Really?

Don’t underestimate the value of home. Why stress out (or do without) by trying to communicate the depth of your feeling or gratitude by the sticker price of your gift?

Memories are priceless things. Nothing creates a memory like ambiance – and nothing creates ambiance like imagination! Food, decor and tradition invite the people you love to share the holidays with you and reinforce the fellhip that continues throughout the new year throughout all those inauspicious days that are the sum of a life.

Christmas trees are the ultimate in ambiance, decked out in individuality and at almost any budget, capable of creating holiday magic!

Start by redefining in your mind the term “Christmas Tree”…

Oh, Christmas branch......image from Apartment Therapy

When my family and I lived for a time in Central Mexico, there were no Christmas trees to be had! We installed a splendid Christmas branch over the mantle and decorated it with the stunning tin can ornaments produced by local artisans – it was amongst the most memorable Christmas Trees ever!

Use some of those color trends we have explored in 2011 to redesign bookshelves or bruit-ins to create a fun and festive chachka tree! Vases are plentiful at thrift stores, but if you want to go with on color, fill clear glass vessels in a variety of shapes and sizes with objects that are one color (such as inexpensive glass ornaments).

Matthew Mead's Turquoise Vases Bookshelf

No shelves? No problem….a wall and the dollar store or items from storage that don’t quite have a place create the ultimate one-dimensional tree!

A fabulous obect tree - image from apartment therapy

No budget? Look through the garage, or even the local wood salvage processing center – this inventive tree allowed its creator to put that budget into the stockings instead…

Make a "green" tree with repurposed salvage! image from Apartment Therapy

I have always thought about doing this…and the introduction of LED lights make it safe. Why not re-purpose last year’s tree? I love courageous design, and this is brave! It would be allot of fun to spray paint last year’s tree with low VOC white paint using an interior¬† paint sprayer.

Re-use last years tree! image from Apartment Therapy

A treeless tree is allot like dessert for dinner – use those calories or $$ where they will get the most enjoyable bang for your buck!

A treless tree - go for the gusto!

A great theme for an office party is office supply ornamentation – save that budget for secret Santa!

The sticky note tree - House To Home UK

Remember – Pillows are gifts for your home that add color 365 days a year! We have a color for every day of the year at